How to identify YouTube keywords and use them to increase YouTube rankingsYou may have a good idea already, but simply typing an initial main keyword into your YouTube search bar is a good start. From there, you’ll be prompted with popular key phrases that you can start looking at. After clicking on some of these key phrases, videos will appear that you can have a look through and compile a list from. Add words from high ranking videos and figure out which will be high competition and low competition. There may not be a lot of point trying to rank for keyword searches that have really high competition, when you could rank for something that has equally high search volume, but less competition Another hack that is completely free, is to go to your channel, then traffic sources. Here you can see how people are finding your videos already. People may be finding you from keywords you haven’t thought about! Don’t just think about YouTube though. Be mindful of how you will rank in Google as well. There is a preference towards tutorials, reviews and “How to” videos, so using keywords such as these gives more relevance to the content and you may be able to then rank your video on the first page of Google In summary, a small amount of keyword research will go a long way when deciding what to call your videos and what to include in the description and tags. Decide what searches you want to rank for, and include those keywords in your video. By giving YouTube the correct keywords, they’ll then know how to categorise your video.
publishing with relevancy and click through rates in mind!Once you’ve done your due diligence with keyword research and you know which keywords to include, you’re ready to create your videos title! Like Google, when YouTube is deciding what videos to rank for a search, they’re factoring in how many people are searching for a particular video and then clicking on your listing. If lots of people make a search and click your listing, it’s a positive cue to YouTube that your video is relevant. But remember, we need to keep it relevant! Titles that look like click-bait may sound like a good idea to entice someone to start watching your video. However, if your video is starts and the user stops watching quickly because it isn’t relevant, this type of behaviour will be damaging to your ranking (more on this below!). Another way to increase the click-through rate is to ensure that your thumbnails are nicely designed, relevant to the topic, and communicate at a glance that someone is about to watch a great piece of content.
Making Engaging YouTube content is KeyAlright, you’ve done your YouTube keyword research, created a title and description that will rank for the right searches, and ensured that your thumbnail is click-worthy. Now someone is watching your video - and YouTube is getting ready to judge you on another factor - watch time! High retention and maximum watch times are our goals here! We want people watching as close to 100% of our videos as we can. Further to that, if you consider YouTube’s goal to be “keep people on YouTube as long as possible”, then it’s clear we don’t want to post lots of very short videos, because that will decrease our overall watch time, and potentially the overall time a user spends on YouTube. Longer videos rank better as once your user is engaged, they’re unlikely to stop watching. Again though, if your video only needs to be 2-5 minutes, don’t make it 15 minutes just for the sake of it! As a rule of thumb, whatever you post needs to be engaging and you will be rewarded by creating your videos accordingly. If people are leaving comments on your post, it’s a great time to engage with your community. We call this “being a good social business” which we covered in our blog about major Facebook algorithm updates, if you want to know more about community engagement. Like other social platforms, YouTube will prioritise multiple, meaningful interactions on content against videos that receive no engagement. If a user subscribes to you channel immediately after watching a video, this means the user is highly engaged, and it helps your ranking too. Adding a button at the end of your videos so users can subscribe is a great way to help this, should they get to the end of your video.
leveraging your other social networks for successAn easily overlooked strategy is cross pollenating attention from your other social networks towards your videos and channel. If you've grown a healthy e-mail list over time, create a small EDM (Electronic Digital Mail) campaign to let them know the video is live. You can leverage other social accounts, but be mindful of who owns the platforms. YouTube is owned by Google and Instagram is owned by Facebook! This means that if a YouTube link is shared in Facebook or Instagram, their algorithms won't particularly like it, as it would be sending traffic to a competitor. By all means upload the video natively on other platforms where possible, so that network gets their slice of the pie.
Optimising your YouTube channel (as well as your videos!)Optimising your YouTube channel is also critical to your ranking. You might not be aware, but not only do you videos rank, but so does your channel! You need to treat this as another network of your overall digital infrastructure, like your Facebook page, Instagram, website and so on. Keep the same information on this page as well as keep your branding consistent. If you do anything we’ve mentioned above, but people land on your channel and aren’t sure about who you are, or it’s not a professional presence with logo, description, links, and carefully curated playlists… then you might’ve lost them! A high ranking channel will help the ranking of your videos as well. So there you have it, a comprehensive guide to ranking on YouTube! Follow the steps above diligently and chances are you’ll see a difference in your overall YouTube performance. Let us know how you go, and if you would like to recommend a topic we should cover feel free to reach out!